They still managed to function! What did they do?
They used simple products that they already had on hand or could easily obtain. These products often had multiple (as in many, many, many, many) uses.
One such product is vinegar. Vinegar has been a staple at our house for many years. At under $3 for 2 gallons, it's a fantastic price. Plus, it's a natural food product (not food-based, but ACTUAL food) that is harmless. Many of the ingredients below require a spray bottle. You can get them at Dollar Tree as well as several other places for as little as $1 each.
A quick internet search will reveal "1001 uses for vinegar". I've highlighted some of our favorite uses below:
- Mosquito Repellent: I'm told this won't be of use to us here in Vegas, but it was a life-saver back in Michigan and Oklahoma. It's as simple as it sounds. Dump vinegar into a spray bottle (full-strength), and spray on your body. You will have a lovely, fragrant vinegar smell...but only until the vinegar dries at which point it is completely odorless.
- Dishwasher Rinse-Aid: Pour 1/4 cup of full-strength vinegar into the rinse-aid container on your dishwasher. It is just as (or more) effective as the expensive, chemical-laden rinse-aids.
- Liquid Fabric Softener: Pour full-strength vinegar into the washer when you would normally add fabric-softener. This is also a great way to help get odors out of your clothes. And no, they will NOT smell like vinegar once dry! You can also add full-strength vinegar to some of the automatic fabric-softener balls. It will release at the proper time just as with "regular" fabric softener. A bonus here is that while chemical-laden, store-bought fabric-softeners will lessen absorption on your towels, vinegar will NOT. It will give them a soft feel without making them less absorbent.
- Dryer Fabric Softener: To use vinegar as a fabric softener in your dryer instead, just dip a washcloth or dishcloth into full-strength vinegar, squeeze it out, and throw it in the dryer with your other wet clothes. To make this easy, keep an old baby wipes box full of vinegar. Open it, dip the wash cloth, squeeze it out & toss it in! Your clothes will not smell like vinegar once dry.
- Clean Your Windows: Guess what one of the main ingredients is in most over-the-counter, chemical-laden window cleaners is...vinegar! So why not do it yourself and skip all of the chemicals? The mixture ratio varies here from as little as 2tbs of vinegar in 1 gallon of water to 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water. I personally fill our spray bottles (which aren't even close to a full gallon) about 1/4 of the way with vinegar & fill the rest with water. It's best to use old newspapers to wipe your windows down, but if (like me) you don't have them, cloth is fine...I just wipe with a dry cloth after cleaning the window to make sure there are no streaks!
- Clean Your Counters and Walls: Any non-wood surface including bathroom counters, sinks, bathtubs, outside of toilets, etc can be cleaned with vinegar. You can even get stains off the walls with vinegar. For most of these purposes, I use a solution labeled "General Cleaning" which consists of 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 water in a spray bottle
- Clean Your Kitchen Counters: I use a different mixture on my kitchen counters where we sometimes (though rarely) handle raw meat and eggs, I use a mixture of 3/4 spray bottle with vinegar then fill half of the rest with lemon juice & the other half with water. It's a strong solution, but I want to make sure my kitchen counters are properly disinfected. I clearly label this one "Kitchen" so everyone knows which mix to use in the kitchen.
- Mop Your Floors: I use my "General Cleaning" solution for this as well. In fact, I use the same spray bottle that I use for everything else. We spray it on the floor then mop! Again, that's 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water in a spray bottle.
- Clean Your Carpets: You can get most stains out of the carpet with vinegar. I use my "General Cleaning" solution (1/2 vinegar/1/2 water in a spray bottle) for this as well. Spray on, blot with a damp cloth, repeat until stain is gone.
- Wash Produce: Many will use a solution similar to my "General Cleaning" solution for this, but I use full-strength vinegar in a spray bottle if I'm cleaning non-organic produce. In fact, I soak my fruits & veggies (not berries) in a vinegar solution then scrub & rinse them.
- Kill Weeds: During the hottest part of the day, spray your weeds with vinegar. The sun will react with the vinegar and will kill the weed. Warning!!!!! This will kill EVERYTHING that it comes into contact with so if you don't want it burned by the vinegar/sun reaction, make sure it doesn't get sprayed!